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Sen. Bernie Sanders said he not only has his sights on defeating Donald Trump next year but at overcoming a fossil fuel industry which has steadfastly stood in the way of comprehensive reform to grapple with global climate change.
“I think Democrats have to do a couple of things. No. 1, it goes without saying that we have to defeat Donald Trump, who in my view is most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. He’s a pathological liar. He’s a sexist, a racist, etc., etc. But that is not enough,” said the Vermont independent, who often polls right behind Joe Biden in a crowded field competing for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“If we’re talking, for example, about climate change, what the scientists tell us is that we have 12 years before irreparable damage is done to this planet. Beating Trump is not good enough. You have to beat the fossil fuel industry,” Sanders told host Chuck Todd in an appearance on the NBC News program Meet The Press. “You have to take on all of those forces of the status quo who do not want to move this country to energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Chuck, what the scientists tell us is that the future of the planet is at stake and we have a moral responsibility to make sure that our kids live and our grandchildren live in a healthy and habitable planet. That means massive investments in wind, solar, and so forth. So taking on Trump, of course you’ve got to do that, but you need a real plan to transform our energy system.”
Sanders said that he may not be the favorite of the Democratic establishment, but there are millions of Democrats not of the establishment.
“What [you] should know is that a recent poll that came out had me, if I’m not mistaken, eight points ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania. We’ve had polls which had me way ahead of him in Michigan and Wisconsin and, in fact, all over this country. The reason that we can beat, that my campaign can beat Donald Trump is we’re going to create the kind of excitement that we need to bring out the large voter turnout,” said Sanders, now in the midst of his second run for president.
“We’re going to bring out young people who not only are interested and have to fight for real climate change, they want to raise that minimum wage to $15 an hour. A fight that I have been helping to lead,” Sanders added. “They want health care for all through our Medicare-for-all single-payer program. They understand that it is absurd that young people should be leaving college 50, 60, $100,000 in debt. They want public colleges and universities tuition-free. They want criminal justice reform, they want immigration reform. And the truth is that our campaign, I think, can generate that excitement. Our generation can talk to some, some of the Trump supporters who now know that they were lied to when Trump said he was going to provide health care to everybody and then try to throw 32 million people off their health care. I think we are the campaign that can beat Donald Trump.”